Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what your life purpose is? Why do you exist? Why do you create? These are some very DEEP questions but ones worth pondering and perhaps journaling over.
I always knew that I was meant to help others. Working with people and assisting people has always brought me joy. Perhaps it’s because of human connection or perhaps something more. I also have a passion for making art. Art allows me to lose track of space, time, dimensions and everything in between. When I am truly inspired, I go into the artistic vortex and get lost for HOURS. Surely, I thought to myself, I can collide these two worlds of making art and helping people into something that is unique to me.
Prior to this year, I didn’t have a clear mission or stated life purpose. I always knew the things I enjoyed but I never sat down to put the pieces together. Around November of 2017, I began jotting down my “New Year’s Resolutions”. I began working on them right away instead of waiting for January to come around. That is when intuitively I knew that something would be different about 2018 – I could just feel it in my bones.
As 2018 began and I started checking things off my list (and sticking to it!) I stumbled into my purpose as if purposefully by accident. During my last job I was part of a book club that focused on reading books that would help improve us professionally. For March, I selected the book, Start with Why by Simon Sinek. As I worked through each page it was becoming evident to me that I didn’t have a defined purpose. “What is Anna Bruce’s mission in life?” I asked myself (yes, in third person haha!).
What is my life purpose? What do I stand for? Why do I do what I do? Well, first and foremost, in all of my actions I noticed a recurring pattern.
I just want to leave this world a better place than I found it.
But that is a bit broad, wouldn’t you agree? Maybe, maybe not. That is my personal life purpose – the overall umbrella to my other smaller missions. I then dissected this even more. Why do I do what I do professionally? Lightning strike. I want to inspire others to follow their hearts through action. Yes. If my actions can inspire you to follow your heart and be happy, then I have fulfilled my true “Why” as to why I do what I do professionally. If I can be a bit more transparent than what you might be used to reading, share all of my ups and downs, behind the scenes, etc. and help you see what success and failures look like then I have succeeded. Perhaps being overly transparent might be slightly off-putting but you know what would be even more off-putting? Taking a leap of faith and encountering challenges that no one talked about on social media. It’s those unexpected bumps in the road that can silence a brilliant mind from changing the world.
2011: George Mason University. I came back to my alma mater to speak about my journey as a commercial portrait photographer.
I will be the first to admit that my first reaction to all of my decisions is fear. I will almost always try to talk myself out of doing something because I am afraid. But then I remind myself of this: What if Steve Jobs, the Wright Brothers, Chase Jarvis, Brooke Shaden and so many other amazing people like them had been afraid to pursue their dreams? What if they had chosen fear over innovation, action and persistence? Where would we be? Why am I using these people as examples? Steve Jobs: I attribute my MacBook and iPad to him. It’s the vessel that allows me to create in the current medium I am working in. The Wright Brothers successfully created and flew the first airplane – I love traveling by plane. Seeing new places brings me such great joy. Chase Jarvis is the founder of CreativeLIVE, the place I attribute my online “Masters Degree in all things creative”. I wouldn’t be where I am today, if it weren’t for the hundreds of hours that I have spent learning from there. Brooke Shaden, an incredibly talented American artist, showed me that you could thrive off of you art. She inspired me to look at creating in a new way and through her online content, allowed me to see all that I could create during this part of my life.
So you see, I have to push myself. I cannot let fear reign because maybe I am helping just one person be brave but that one person could change the lives of millions of people of the better.
So I urge you to think about your life purpose or mission. What do you stand for? Why are you here? Why do YOU do what YOU do? Who out there needs you the most in their life?
Model: Kristen E (Instagram here)
Below are a couple posts from other artist peers on why they create